Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Gyanvapi Case: Varanasi Court Defers Hearing On Hindu Devotees' Plea Seeking Carbon Dating Of 'Shivling'

Hindu devotees have filed a plea for the carbon dating for the 'Shivling' said to be found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi.

Gyanvapi Mosque
Gyanvapi Mosque PTI

The Varanasi District Court on Friday deferred its order on the Hindu devotees' plea seeking carbon dating of "Shivling" found inside Gyanvapi Mosque.

The court will now pronounce its order on October 11. A structure was found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during its videography survey. The Hindu petitioners have claimed that it a Shivling. 

Advocate Vishnu Jain, petitioners for the Hindu devotees, told ANI that the mosque committee has sought time to file its reply. 

Jain said, "Court asked us to clarify on two points whether the structure found inside Gyanvapi Masjid is part of this suit property or not? Second, can the court issue a commission for scientific inquiry? We have submitted our reply. We said that it is part of our suit property and by virtue of Order 26 Rule 10A of CPC, the Court has power to direct scientific investigation. Muslim side has sought some time to reply. The matter will now be heard on October 11."

The mosque committee said the object being called a 'Shivling' was actually a "fountain".

What's the carbon dating plea?

Five Hindu women have filed a petition seeking rights for daily prayers before the idols on the outer walls of the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi. During the initial hearing of the case, a Varanasi court —from where the case was later transferred to District Court— ordered videography survey of the mosque compound

During the survey, it was claimed that a 'Shivling' was found close to the "wazookhana" —a small reservoir used by Muslims to perform ritual ablutions before offering namaz— in the mosque premises. It is this 'Shivling' whose carbon dating now been sought.

One of the five petitioners has not joined the plea for carbon dating out of concerns that such a process might damage the "Shivling".

What has Gyanvapi Mosque Committee said?

Citing the original plea by the Hindu women seeking permission for yearlong praying inside the shrine, the mosque committee previously had objected to the scientific investigation plea, saying that it had nothing to do with its structure.

On September 12, the Varanasi district judge dismissed a challenge by the mosque committee that said the case by the Hindu women for year-long worship inside the mosque complex had no legal standing. Their challenge was rejected on all three counts that they had cited including the 1991 law that freezes the status of a place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

The petitioners didn't want ownership, just the right to worship, the court ruled.

(With PTI inputs)